In a move that strengthens UCLA’s place atop Los Angeles, the Bruins are set to hire former USC assistant Kennedy Polamalu. Bruin Report Online first reported the news.
Polamalu replaces former UCLA running backs coach Steve Broussard, who was fired on Monday. The Bruins had landed just one running back recruit — four-star prospect Craig Lee — through their first two signing classes of the Jim Mora era.
Formerly known as Kennedy Pola, the 50-year-old is well known for his recruiting acumen. A Trojans’ fullback from 1982-1985, Polamalu became the school’s running backs/special teams coach in 2000. Over the next four seasons, he coached running backs Justin Vargas and Hershel Dennis, as well as All-American punter Tom Malone.
He also coached Reggie Bush and LenDale White when the pair combined for 1,604 yards and 21 touchdowns from scrimmage as freshmen.
He worked as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ running backs coach from 2005-09 before returning to USC as an offensive coordinator.
Former Trojans coach Lane Kiffin — who retained playcalling duties — fired him in February, not long after the pair had an argument leading up to the Trojans’ participation in last year’s Sun Bowl. The move stunned many in the USC community.
Already, the hire is beginning to alter the local recruiting landscape:
— Gerard Martinez (@gmartlive) December 4, 2013
An announcement could come Thursday. A UCLA spokesperson declined to comment on personnel matters that are not yet complete and official.